The following information is a copy of JK Stokes data on Mount Barker as contained in her Rootsweb ( Genealogy Website  and has been included here with permission.  No alterations or additions may be made to her information without further permission, although relevant comments and/or additions are welcome to be added at the bottom of each page.  (copied July 2014)

Simpson, Walter & descendants

Walter Simpson was born in 1801 at Battersea, just south of the River Thames in Greater London.  He was the son of Walter and Sarah Simpson, who lived near to St Mary's Church in Battersea where both Walter and his sister Sarah were baptised.  His father worked as a waterman on the Thames, and when he was old enough, the young Walter was apprenticed as a boat builder.

In 1818, at the age of 17, Walter and a friend named William Burn, stole 6 loaves of bread in a basket from Mr. James Unwin, the Superintendent of the Battersea Workhouse.  For their efforts, both men were tried at the Surrey Quarter Sessions sentenced to 7 years transportation to Van Dieman's Land.  They spent several months in the hulks before being loaded aboard the ship Surrey to be sent of to their new lives as convicts.  When they first arrived in Hobart, Walter worked on road gangs and other building works.  It appears from his record that he was quite prepared to stand up for his rights and to speak his mind, as he received a large number of lashes of the cat-o-nine tails for his efforts.  In 1821, he was one of the first sent to the most unholy of penal settlements - Sarah Island - where he would spend the next five years working as a virtual slave from daylight to dark cutting timber and building boats.  His punishment record whilst there is extensive, and includes several instances of being placed on bread and water in solitary confinement, and of receiving large numbers of lashes.  After his return to Hobart, he worked in the general area of Glenorchy and New Town as a carpenter and odd job man.  But he ran foul of the law again, and received another 7 year sentence, but fortunately for him, Sarah Island had closed as a penal station by that time, so he was sent to work on the roads and public works gangs.  Towards the end of his second year sentence, he and some other convicts got themselves drunk one Saturday night and became a bit too rowdy for the liking of the law, so were arrested and sent to the newly constructed Port Arthur settlement.  Thus, he became one of the first to be sent there as well.

After he received his second certificate of freedom, it appears that he was fed up with constantly being under the watchful eye of the police, so he settled into a normal working life in Glenorchy.  He set up home with a young woman he had met in Hobart named Mary Ann Scammell, who had come to Hobart as the children's maid to the first Baptist minister in the colonies.  They had 3 children together before they married in 1843 and a fourth was born just after.   In about 1845, Walter made the decision to move his family to South Australia, and left Tasmania in January the following year to investigate the prospects.  He returned to Hobart later in the year to prepare his wife and children, and departed again September with his family aboard the Timbo in September of 1846.

I have long been curious as to how an ex-convict who had spent a total of 14 years in servitude could present himself in Adelaide, and almost immediately upon arrival, have the money to purchase the amount of land that he did at £1 an acre.  He purchased a full section of land at Littlehampton, that stretched from the corner opposite the Great Eastern Hotel up to the corner opposite Garwood's garage, and back to the Freeway!  He also bought three large sections of land at White Peg Creek near Wistow, a town acre in Adelaide and a large block in Mt Barker - and all within a very short space of time.  In addition to this, he purchased a bullock dray and team of eight sturdy bullocks, with which he managed to obtain a contract to cart goods to the farmers in the Wistow area, and to the Aboriginal station near Salem.

Walter and Mary Ann lived for a time at Littlehampton and moved in about 1850 to White Peg Creek, but still maintained the home at Littlehampton.  Later, he built a house for Mary Ann in Mt Barker, on the corner of Hutchinson and Mann Streets, just in front of where the Methodist Sunday School building stands today.  The house had a large cellar beneath it and the front door faced the corner of the two roads at an angle.  The building remained in the family until after Mary Ann's death, when it was sold to Richard "Dickie" Daniels, and was used as a shop by Erskine Anderson for a time, and also as a Brownie's and Guides venue.  The building was demolished in about 1948 to make way for the Sunday School building that stands on the site today.  Walter Simpson & Mary Ann Scammell were my 3 x great-grandparents.

The children of Walter and Mary Ann Simpson were:-

Mary Ann Simpson was born in Hobart in 1837.  She married Joseph Barclay Berry, the son of James Berry and Ann Ellen Barclay of Langhorne Creek.  They had 16 children - Joseph Barclay, Walter James, Mary Ann, Mary Anne, Ann Ellen, Joseph John, Alice Rebecca, Abraham, Samuel, Arthur, Samuel, Adelaide, Louise, Edith Laura Barclay, Frederick Ernest Oliver Barclay, and John Henry.  Mary Ann and her husband were both school teachers and taught at the Sandergrove, Angas Plains, Stirling East, Bugle Ranges, Kangaroo Flat, Crystal Brook South, Langhorne Creek and Mannum schools.

Sarah Jane Simpson was born in Hobart in 1839.  She married James Berry, the son of James Berry and Ann Ellen Barclay, the brother of her sister's husband - and on the same day as her sister Mary Ann married.   James Berry was also a school teacher who taught at Callington and Woodchester, as did Sarah.  They had 11 children - James, Thomas Walter, Joseph, Sarah Ann, Robert William, Frederick John, Ann Ellen, Alfred Edward, Alfred Henry, Henry Alfred and Marian Susannah.  Due to ill-health, Sarah and James moved to Ballarat in Victoria, where they lived until they died - James in 1879 and Sarah in 1929.

Walter Simpson was born in Hobart in September 1841.  He came to South Australia with his parents in 1846, and died in Adelaide in 1848.  I believe he is buried at West Terrace cemetery.

Rebecca Simpson was born in Hobart in November 1844, the first of the Simpson children born inside the marriage.  She came to Adelaide with her parents in 1846, and married in 1868 at St Michael's Evangelical Lutheran Church to Johann Gottfried Thiele, the son of Johann Friedrich Thiele and Anna Dorothea Schmidt.  They had 5 children - Johann Friedrich Walter, Gottfried Hermann, Anna Amelia (Emily), Wilhelm Albert, and Rebecca Lydia. Rebecca died shortly after the birth of their youngest daughter in 1880, and her husband remarried to Johanna Pauline Reugner and had more children with her.  Rebecca Simpson & Johann Gottfried Thiele were my great-great-grandparents.

Susanna Simpson was born in January 1847 in Adelaide, the first of the family to be born in South Australia.  I believe that Susannah has also known as Hannah, and as such, witnessed her sister's marriage in 1874.  She did not marry.

An still-born son was born in 1850 at Blakiston.

William Simpson was born at Littlehampton in October 1851 and he was baptised at St James' Church, Blakiston a month later.  He never married, and went to Gawler, where he worked as a farm hand until his death in 1903.

Fanny Simpson was born at White Peg Creek in 1854.  She married twice, and was apparently quite a formidable woman.  Her first husband was Charles Abercrombie Dignum Sigmont, the son of William Abercrombie Dignum Sigmont and Lucy Batt of Sydney.  They had 3 children - Charles Andrew Dignum, Fanny Lucy Dignum, and Florene Dignum.  After her first husband died in 1877, just 3 months after the birth of their youngest child, there was no mention of these children amongst family anecdotes.  Only through diligent tracking, have we learned that only two of the three children survived to adult hood, married and had children of their own.  In 1880, Fanny married a second time to Henry Hove Splaine, a native of Bandon in the Irish county of Cork, who had migrated to South Australia and became a police officer in Adelaide.  He soon tired of the force and resigned to become a market gardener at Richmond.  He must have had something troubling him, as he shot himself in the paddock opposite the home of Mrs Theodore Thompson (daughter of his late sister-in-law Rebecca Thiele nee Simpson) at Wistow.  He is buried at West Terrace cemetery.  Fanny lived at Richmond and Mile End after her husband's death, and passed away herself at Parkside in 1939.  She is buried at West Terrace cemetery with her husband and mother.  Fanny and her second husband had a son also named Henry Hove Splaine who was born at in 1882.

Emily Simpson was born at White Peg Gully in 1857.  She married Charles William Brown at the Wesleyan Church in Mt Barker Springs in 1874.  Her sister Susannah and her brother in law Gottfried Thiele were witnesses to their marriage.  They moved around between Callington, Mt Barker and Kooringa during their lives, with 8 children being born to them in these locations.  Their children were - Mary Ann, William, William, Emmeline Ellen, Albert Charles, Edith Florence, George and Walter.  Towards the end of their lives, they lived for a time at Edwardstown, where both of them died.

Ellen Simpson was born at White Peg Gully in 1859.  She married in 1886 at the Mt Barker home of her mother in Hutchinson Street, to Richard Luke Peters.  They had only one son, also named Richard Luke Peters, who was born in 1891 and died in 1912.  Ellen died in 1941 at Parkside and her husband had pre-deceased her by 20 years in 1921.  Both are buried in West Terrace.

Alice Anne Simpson was born at Echunga in February 1860 and sadly only lived a couple of weeks.  She died at Echunga in March of 1860.

Walter Simpson was born in August 1861 at White Peg Creek.  He married twice - firstly to Margaret Amelia Byrne in 1893 at Mt Barker, and secondly to Agnes Bonney in 1915 at Adelaide.  There were 3 children from the first marriage - Walter Leslie, Ivis Maude, and Henry Arthur Lawrence.  His first wife died in 1913.  There were no children from the second marriage.  Walter died in 1935 at his home in Mile End and his second wife in August of 1951 at Hilton.  Both are buried at Centennial Park.